How to Create a Cozy, Calm and Connected Living Space
Technology works wonders for us in terms of comfort, security and entertainment, but all of our metal boxes, wire jumbles and blinking lights can quickly take over the intended look and feel of our homes. Dens — once cozy retreats for relaxation — are often becoming overrun by Zen-busting monitors and remotes. And televisions are usually the focal point of our “living rooms” — they’ve even earned their own living spaces in some homes … i.e., media rooms. What’s more, the latest and greatest smart devices are now forcing homeowners to consider adding more wall outlets and floor plugs.
So what can you do to get your home plugged back into its original ambiance? Try camouflaging your home technology, which is not only on-trend for 2016, but also a great way to help transform your abode into a more tranquil living environment. In classic-cartoon terms, this means finding ways to live like “The Jetsons” without reverting back to the DVR-free age of “The Flintstones.”
Here are ten tips to help you rescue the aesthetic of your home from technology without sacrificing the convenience of modern techno marvels.
- Conquering Cords, Part One: One of the most effective ways to re-claim your décor is to eliminate cords and wiry tangles. In our 5 Ways to Cut Cord Clutter blog, we discuss how to bundle and label your way to cord-management, as well as the effectiveness of power strips and cordless devices. Below are some additional ideas on how to achieve a cord-free look without losing a single volt of power.
- Conquering Cords, Part Two: Sometimes a wireless device is not available — or is simply cost-prohibitive. In that case, Apartment Therapy suggests using a simple stack of books to hide the cord. It’s fast, inexpensive and, when done right, attractive. For electrical needs in the center of a room, like a floor- or reading lamp, try recessed plug outlets. Available online or at most hardware stores, these modified electrical boxes can be installed and discreetly nestled beneath a sofa, or artfully hidden behind a magazine rack, end table, arm chair, etc.
- Crack Open A Good Book … Literally: Routers provide us with the ability to watch Netflix and shop on Amazon, but they can be aesthetic eyesores. Check out this Do-It-Yourself (DIY) demonstration from the “Today” show that reveals how to cut out the inside of a hardcover book and use it’s spine to conceal that blinking, wireless tower.
- Mirror, Mirror: Wall-mounting media screens instantly gives you breathing room for your décor, but what about making the television disappear altogether? If you no longer want the TV to be a room’s focal point, Houzz suggests investing in a mirror screen. Companies like Suera and Hidden Television offer TV models that can toggle from screen to mirror with the touch of a button, allowing you to check the news (and your hair) without moving a muscle.
- Get On Track: Need a more budget-friendly solution for concealing your television? Hide it in an armoire or behind cabinet doors. Or, get creative and cover it with a piece of art. Just slide your art aside when it’s time for “Game of Thrones,” and then push them back together when it’s time for family game night.
- Stand Against the Wall: Now that you have successfully mounted your television to the wall, why stop? Companies such as HIDEit Mounts offer products that allow you to conceal your gaming console, cable box, or streaming devices by anchoring them behind the television. Amazon lists a version that will run you about $60 dollars. The extra space will not only give you more room for actual home décor, but it will also allow you to kick up your feet without staring at a series of power lights.
- Get Control: Although some devices can be managed through apps on our smart phones, remotes are still a reality for most people. To control remote clutter, consider storing them inside decorative boxes. Not only are you adding to your home’s décor by concealing remotes inside added accessories, you’ll also benefit from giving a permanent home to something that often gets lost between uses. For once, make the remote disappear … on purpose!
- Get Recharged: Phone and smart-device chargers are a necessary evil in our tech-heavy lives. Thankfully, there are a few ways to get the business of charging done without the eyesore of a plug and cord. For example, RichNeeleyDesigns on Etsy sells attractive, vintage-styled books, such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Emma, that have been converted into iPhone and iPad docking stations, with the unsightly cords tucked inside. Ikea offers a line of attractive lamps and nightstands that double as wireless charging stations.
- Give Your Keyboard Some Bling: The home office is usually a jumble of towers, monitors, and computer accessories. Mounting your monitor, switching to a wireless mouse, and hiding routers are a good way to begin your “toned-down-technology” look. You can also tuck that wireless printer into a drawer, armoire or closet. To add some extra style to your space, check out Hekseskudd’s Ambidextrous Keyboard Tray.
- Getting The Hang Of It: Another amazing DIY trick is to cover thermostats, garage door openers and other wall fixtures with a piece of art. Check out how Good Housekeeping camouflages a garage door opener by using a distressed wooden frame, hinges and an antique doorknob.
We hope these tips can help you evaluate the way technology dictates design in your own home. PrimeLending wants you to have the best of both worlds — modern conveniences that enrich your life and a relaxing oasis that helps you de-stress from your daily grind.
If you are up to the challenge of creating an oasis for tech-free tranquility in a new home, contact a PrimeLending loan expert to learn what mortgage plan is best for you.
From the PrimeLending blog, by Mandy Jordan